Getting up at 6 am to hare off to the city is quite a job but something I do from time to time now that I am buying shellfish and fish from the wholesale market. On days like this it is very tempting to stock up on more than I need immediately. A few days ago I saw the most fabulous prawns at such a good price it seemed silly to ignore them because my menu for the day did not include them. So I bought a couple of kilos and decided to freeze them for later use.
Prawns can be frozen raw or cooked, shelled or unshelled. I have found cooking them first and freezing them tends to make them tough but it is always good to have some cooked and ready to use in salads or as a garnish.
To freeze prawns raw and unshelled-Wash them in cold water as soon as possible after buying and store them tightly packed in zip lock bags or containers. Leave no room around them. Seal well. Freeze immediately. If you want these to have some taste use within 2 months.
To freeze prawns raw but shelled- Make a brine of 1 tsp pickling salt ( salt without iodine or any additves) and I litre water. Clean the prawns by removing the head and vein in the back (which is the colon).You do this by making an incision along the underside of the prawn and scrape out or pull out the black vein. You can keep the tails on if you like. Wash under running water to make sure all traces of the colon are gone.
Dip each prawn for a few seconds in the brine, then pack and seal as for the unshelled prawns, tightly, seal the container firmly and freeze immediately. Prawns frozen this way will keep longer
To freeze cooked prawns- Boil a large pan of water. You can salt the water with a teaspoon of salt. When the water is on a rolling boil dump in a handful of cleaned prawns at a time and cook for three minutes or until they have changed colour. Cool, pack, seal and freeze.
(Remember you can also clean prawns after cooking and then freeze them)